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To find the source of optimism you need to look at the end of Act I. This "Florida idea" as it is called begins when Happy mentions that Biff is going to ask Bill Oliver for a business loan. The plan is that Happy and Biff are going to use their sporting and physical abilities to market and sell sporting goods. Everybody thinks that this is a great idea - the two brothers going into business together.
Of course, relating this to one of the key themes of the novel, we can see that this is another example of the myth of the American dream. Their optimism is tragically moving by the end of the play.
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